Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport Operations Resume After Mass Shooting

The Fort Lauderdale Airport is back up and running Saturday evening, with operations resuming for cargo and general aviation activity around midnight.

However, operations for commercial service air and passenger service did not resume until 5 a.m. Saturday morning in Terminals 1, 3, and 4. Delta Airlines resumed operations at Terminal 2  6 p.m. Saturday. However, the baggage claim area at Terminal 2 remained closed. Delta passegers are being rerouted to Terminal 3 to pick up their checked bags. 

Delta has arranged buses for passengers from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3. Friday afternoon, lone gunman Esteban Santiago, opened fire at the baggage claim area in Terminal 2, killing five people. 

Sabrina Jacobs said she's just trying to pick up her luggage and is thankful to be alive.

"I was hiding over there under some stair wells because they thought there was a second shooter above me," Jacobs said. "I had been trying to get out of the airport and I was walking through the garage to meet my grandparents on other side when all of a sudden everyone had their guns up."

Airport Director Mark Gayle says one obstacle they're now facing is connecting passengers with the belongings they left behind in the panic to escape.

"Over night the airport collected over 20 thousand items ... luggage, cellphones, laptops, various personal items," Gayle said. "We're in the process of cataloging all those items protecting it and securing it so that we can get it back to it's rightful owner as soon as we possibly can."

The Department of Highway Safety is also stepping in, setting up a mobile center to verify information and issue temporary credentials to assist travelers from around the world.

"For those that are out of the country we are assisting them the best we can within the guidelines we have for immigration services," said David Brown with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

They're prepared to help thousands get back home. Even if that means being out here all night long.

"It's temporary, it's going to help them get back into the airports," Brown said. "Get back onto the planes to get home and get their belongings that they have."

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